Beck grabs his first feature win at Lernerville Speedway
By Pam Baker
CLARION NEWS Racing correspondent
The weather sure has provided some very hot temperatures this summer and last week was no exception. It seems the weekends have been the hottest part of the week and it sure is hard on the race car drivers that put on that triple layer fire suit. Hopefully it will cool down some this week.
On to the racing which started on Friday night at Lernerville Speedway. AJ Flick started on the front row of the 410 Sprint feature and jumped out to the early lead. On lap seven the yellow flew for Chase Baker who spun. On the restart, Flick remained in control, but Carl Bowser was applying pressure by lap twelve and on lap thirteen the two drivers made contact sending Flick spinning where he made a 360 and kept on going but this now put him back to seventh position. Bowser then went on pick up the feature win over Dan Kuriger. Flick was able to charge back towards the front and finished third with Brent Matus fourth and RJ Jacobs rounding out the top five.
The Big Block Modified feature started with a caution before the field could take the green after Rick Regalski, Steve Feder, Tom Glenn, Mike Turner, John Mollick, Rex King, Sr., and Brian Swartzlander all came together and blocked the speedway. When the race went green Dave Murdick looked to have the race in hand, but John Mollick who was involved in the early caution worked his way to the front and took the lead away on lap nine and never looked back to pick up the win. Finishing second was Garrett Krummert followed by Brian Swartzlander, Rex King, Jr. and Jeremiah Shingledecker. Early leader, Dave Murdick faded back to sixth.
Tommy Beck has been trying for years to get a win in the Late Model division at Lernerville and on Friday night all his work finally paid off as he captured the feature win. There were several different leaders during the race with Jayme Beck, Will Thomas, Colton Flinner, and Ken Schaltenbrand all holding the top spot during the 25-lap feature. Beck inherited the lead on lap 22 and went on to capture the checkers. Finishing second was Colton Flinner with Tyler Dietz, Clate Copeman and Gary Lyle completing the top five finishers.
Joey Zambotti led from green to checkered in the Pro Stock feature to pick up the win. Finishing second was Corey McPherson, Tyler Dietz, Mike Miller and Bob Egley.
Coming up Tuesday, July 21 will be the Don Martin Memorial race with the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars, and then on Friday, July 24 will find the RUSH Racing Summer Series featuring the RUSH Wingless Sprint Cars, RUSH Late Models, RUSH Modifieds and the Pro Stocks.
The BRP Modified Tour will be competing in its fifth race of the series at Thunder Mountain Speedway on Friday night (July 24). Competing along with them will be the Super Late Models and the Front Wheel Drives.
On Saturday night at Hummingbird Speedway the Super Late Model division found Scott Alvertro and David Scott leading the field to the green flag. David Scott jumped into the lead and led the entire race to pick up the feature win. David's son, Wyatt finished second with Mike Wonderling third. Fourth went to David Scott's other son, Kyle Scott with Jeremy Ohl finishing fifth.
The Penn-Ohio Stock Car series made its first ever visit to the speedway. Rusty Martz jumped on the initial start which put him back a row. This then put Andrew Gordon on the front row and at the drop of the green flag Gordon took command of the lead. A caution on lap eleven allowed second place sitter, Curtis Bish to take advantage of the restart and take the lead. Curtis Bish developed mechanical problems and was eliminated from the race. On lap eighteen, Tim Bish went to the low side of the speedway and made the pass over leader, Gordon and went on to pick up the $1,200 win. Finishing second was Gordon followed by Josh Seippel, Brandon Conner and Jackson Humanic.
Nathan Smith used a caution on lap three to work his way past Nick Loffredo and Gabe Shaffer to take the lead and eventually the feature win in the Semi Late Model feature. Finishing second was Mick Erskine followed by Gabe Shaffer, Nick Loffredo and Eddie Conner.
Dennis Harrison, Jr. led the early laps of the Pure Stock feature, but mechanical problems forced him to retire from the race, which then left Tim Steis to inherit the lead and go on to pick up the feature win. Second place went to Andy Frey followed by Casey Wolfe, Tim Powell and Josh Fields.
The final race of the evening featured the four-cylinders which saw Joe Anthony lead the way until his right rear wheel came off ending his night. Blake Joiner took the lead and the win in the closing laps of the race. Finishing second was Dave Smail with Mark Wetzel, Jr. in third. Fourth went to Brooks Kaufman and Travis Timko finished fifth.
Coming up Saturday night (July 25) will be the first ever appearance of the Econo Mod division and the Young Gun Jr. Sprints will also make their second appearance of the season. It will also be Fan Appreciation Night with tons of door prizes to be given away to the fans.
Michaels Mercer Raceway was finally able to kick off its 2020 season and what a night it was for the speedway. Ralph Quarterson, a local racer who had quite a history at the speedway was honored by the track and his family by hosting the 410 Sprint division for a $3,300 to win race. The Big Block Modifieds also received $3,300 to win. When Quarterson raced his car number was #66, so Edward Michaels honored both divisions that Ralph competed in by paying each feature winner $3,300.
The 410 Sprint feature which was 33-laps found Adam Kekich battling the entire race with Brandon Spithaler, but was able to stay ahead to pick up the feature win. Kekich started on the front row and held his competitors at bay the entire race and picked up the win which was special to him as his family have had special close ties to the Quarterson family over the years. Finishing second was Spithaler with Dan Kuriger in third. Fourth went to Jeremy Kornbau with Jack Sodeman, Jr. riding home fifth.
In the Big Block Modified 33-lap feature, the event started with Bobby Axe pacing the field in his original 1937 Chevy Coupe which competed at Mercer and other local tracks in the 1960s and 1970s. Phil Vigerni, III and Brad Rapp started on the front row of the feature with Rapp jumping the lead at the drop of the green. A caution for Rex King, Sr. who had a broken shock grouped the field together for the restart. Rapp once again took command of the race and held the lead through the thirteenth lap which Vigneri, III got by on a restart for the lead and took the win. Rapp held on for second with Rex King, Jr. third. Kyle Fink finished fourth with Garrett Krummert finishing fifth.
Chase Metheney led the 305 Sprint Car feature from green to checkered to pick up his first career feature win. Steve Cousins finished second with Jacob Gomola third. Fourth place went to Knox's Kyle Colwell followed by Brandon Hawkins in fifth.
Garrett Krummert started on the pole of the FASTRAK Modified feature and looked to have the win in the bag, but Eric Gabany came from the sixth starting position and was able to make the pass on Krummert for the win on lap twelve. Krummert tried a last lap attempt for the lead but came up short to finish second. Brian Schaffer finished third with Jordan Ehrenberg in fourth and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. in fifth.
Vivian Jones held off Nathaniel Bale to pick up her seventh career win in the Mod Lite division at Mercer. Roman Jones finished third with Jason Gracey fourth and Shane Webb fifth.
Will Aley started on the pole of the Mini Stock feature, but Tim Callahan took the lead away from Aley to pick up the feature win. Aley finished second with Leonard Baker third. Fourth went to Randy Ealy with Andy Thompson rounding out the top five.
Coming up Saturday, July 25 will be a regular Fast Five program featuring the Big Block Modifieds, FASTRAK Modifieds, 305 Racesaver Sprints, Mini Stocks and Mod Lites.
On Sunday night, Tri City Raceway Park had their program cancelled due to afternoon rains. Coming up this Sunday night , July 26 will be the first 358 Small Block Modified Tour event along with the 410 Sprints, Junior Sprints, Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks.
Have a great week race fans and if possible, please attend a local speedway to help them during this hard time to keep their businesses going.